Blogging is a great way to boost a company’s online presence and content marketing is a great way to generate leads and ultimately sales for your product or service. Most businesses nowadays have a company blog. Here are some interesting statistics regarding this trend:
- 61 percent of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.
- B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67 percent more leads than those who do not.
- On average, companies that blog generate 434 percent more indexed pages than those companies that do not blog.
- Businesses that use e-mail marketing and blog generate twice as much traffic from their email campaigns than those who don’t blog.
As you can see, no matter what the industry, most companies now recognize implementing a targeted content marketing strategy is an effective way to get discovered by potential customers. However, just because small businesses have a blog does not mean they’re doing it the right way.
For many years I have consulted with small and large companies and have helped get them back on track with their content marketing efforts. Here are some of the common errors I have seen many business bloggers make and some tips to help them fix these mistakes:
Forgetting It Is A Business Blog
Your business blog is an integral part of your company’s communication and marketing strategy. It therefore needs to be set up and written the right way to attract and build a loyal audience. For example, when you engage with your customers offline, don’t you want to wow them and create a great first impression? It is similar with your blog. It should create a positive impression of you and your business.
- The content on your blog must be well written. A poorly written article will reflect negatively on your company’s reputation and image.
- Carefully check for spelling and grammatical errors and make necessary corrections.
- Hire an editor to make sure the content you share flows and is easy to understand.
- The design of your blog is critical. Make it simple and easy to navigate.
- If you are unsure on how to design your blog, hire a professional designer and developer. Their experience will help you achieve a professional and polished look that will better resonate with your audience.
Your Blog Is Not Integrated Within Your Company Website
Another big mistake is hosting your blog separate from your company website. By not integrating your blog into your main website, you lose the benefits of generating page views for your branded pages and hurt your overall search ranking. If your website is not ranking well on search engines, a well written and professionally designed blog can provide the boost in traffic you need to rank well in search results.
- Make your blog a subdomain of your main branded website (example: http://blog.website.com) or,
- Add your blog as a sub directory on your main site (http://website.com/blog)
- Make sure the link to your blog is prominently displayed to make it easy for first time users to find it on your main website
You Publish Content Only When You Have A Promotion Running
Another error that businesses make is publishing content only when they are running a promotion. It’s completely understandable that companies want to create a lot of buzz when running promotions, but this can end up hurting your overall marketing strategy. Consistency is key if you want to retain and attract a loyal audience to your brand. Fresh content will also help and will boost your search ranking.
- Ramp up publishing content when you have specific news or a special announcement to communicate.
- Commit to write at least one blog post per week to start and slowly increase the frequency of posting new content over time.
- Create a content plan you can stick with to keep you on track.
- Hire writers if you find it difficult to publish fresh content consistently.
It’s All About You Instead Of Being A Conversation Starter
Your blog may be on your corporate or branded site, but that does not mean you should only be writing about your product or service. Think of your blog as a conversation starter for your readers and potential customers. Make your blog a go-to resource of relevant and important information for your customers.
- Stop writing about how great your product or service is and concentrate on publishing content that will answer your customer’s most frequently asked questions.
- Write articles that will help address your customer’s problems and pain points.
- Share your experiences freely. Educate your customers and you will sell more.
- Engage with your readers by replying to their comments.
You Don’t Have An Email Strategy In Place
You will only gain loyal readers if you build a relationship with them. Aside from engaging with your readers through your content and via comments on your blog, you can also nurture relationships by utilizing an email strategy. By being on your email list, you encourage your customers to come back to your site every time you publish fresh content. By providing relevant and useful information, you encourage your readers to really get to know and trust you before you start selling to them.
- Personalize your email message. Welcome your customers and direct them to popular posts on your site.
- Create compelling subject lines that will entice your customers to read the associated content.
- Don’t be spammy and avoid using words that will trigger spam filters.
- Include targeted free product trials and discounts in your customer emails as a way to encourage your customers to buy.
Forgetting To Add Security Measures To Your Site
One of the biggest nightmares for business owners is finding their site has been hacked or infected with malware. Nobody thinks about beefing up their security until they have been hacked. Delays and down-time will not only cause you a lot of aggravation but will cost significant time and money to fix if you don’t implement some basic security measures.
- Create regular backups of your blog
- Limit the log-in attempts on your site. This will lock out hackers after a set number of failed log-in attempts.
- Use Google Authenticator to implement two-factor authentication on your site.
- If you’re unsure how to implement proper security on your website or blog, hire a professional to do the work for you. It will be money well spent.
Not Providing A Call To Action
A call to action is a pitch to motivate your readers take an action via a specific trigger. Time is money. When you write an article there should always be a specific action you want your readers to take. It can be to download an e-book, a white paper or an app. It can also be an invitation for your customers to visit your product or service page. You may want to ask them to comment on or share an article from your blog. No matter what your goals are, you need to include creative calls to action in your blog posts.
- Always provide a next step for your readers to take. Examples include asking them directly to download your ebook or use a coupon code.
- Ask a question at the end of your article to invite your readers to engage with you by leaving a comment.
- Provide something of value in exchange for an email address or subscription.
- Be relevant by ensuring your call to action is related to your article.
Failing To Maximize Your Content’s Visibility On Social Media
Providing fresh content on your business blog may not be enough to generate significant traffic. If you want more people to discover your site then you must also be active on social media. By using social media to promote your content, you will increase your readership and subscriber base which can lead to increased sales and income.
- Spend time sharing your articles and engaging with your customers on social media.
- Use social platforms as a resource for future blog post topics. Offer value to your readers by answering questions and comments in a timely fashion.
- Make social sharing easy for your readers by adding a floating social bar to your blog posts.
- Add appropriate follow buttons to your site to encourage and make it easy for your readers and customers to follow you on Twitter , Facebook and Google +
Blogging has tremendous benefits to your marketing and promotional efforts, but it will take a lot of work to achieve success. Building authority in your particular industry will take some time to develop, but it is well worth the effort. Although you will make some mistakes along the way, it is crucial to remain vigilant and implement solutions quickly. What business blogging mistakes have you made? What measures did you take to fix them? Please share your experience with us by leaving a comment below.